Pentecost, the Spirit, and the Murder of George Floyd

This coming Sunday is Pentecost. One possible First Reading is Numbers 11.24-30 which relates the one-time, special, but official outpouring of the Spirit of God on a select group of elders of the Hebrew people. Two men, Eldad and Medad, were supposed to gather with the special group of elders, but somehow didn’t make it. […]

Epidemic Advice from Martin Luther

We just had a Great little Zoom online meeting of our weekly church study group we call “Lunch and Learn.” A big part of the learning for me was a quote from Martin Luther about a similar time to ours (Thanks, Ken, for sharing it!).

Turns out we aren’t the first to go through difficult days […]

Blogging in a Time of Pandemic

Isn’t it a loving God who put inside each of us the yearning to belong—to feel the presence of others—to complete someone else and have them complete us?

Perhaps Covid-19 is the earth’s way of crying out to us. It calls us from our flights, our road rage on the highways, our ball games (I sorely […]

Farm Life and Our Desperate Need of Governing

One thing is for certain on a farm: No one can do it alone. If I had to do the farm chores every day by myself, the way I must do them when my wife is off on business, or to a family reunion, or in the hospital, I would soon collapse. There’s the sheep […]

Misplaced Apocalypticism

[A form of this post appeared in the Daily Chronicle newspaper on 12/10/2019]

Apocalypticism, the belief that the end is near, is helpful only to get oppressed people to tomorrow. It encourages them to hang in there.

 

It is less helpful, and can be destructive, in getting through today.

 

Listen carefully and you will hear many citizens excusing […]

Dare I Share This Photograph?

A child reminds us of the beauty of the life God has given. Photo by Rebekah.

I can’t help but share this photograph, though I have strong reservations. Yes, I know people use their smart phones to share countless pictures every day of their precious children. But it’s also no secret that there are not-so-nice folk […]

Jesus Calls All Religions to Repent and Reform

If Christians understood Jesus as he came to us, as the One who calls all religions to reform and repentance, we would listen to and respect, and not ignore or hate, the voices of all other faiths.

Concerned citizens gathered this past week at the Islamic Center of DeKalb, Illinois, to share grief, hope, and shared […]

What Does A Liar Sound Like?

Perhaps THE fundamental question today is, “How can I tell if someone is lying to me?” Are they trying to rip me off, manipulate me, sell me a bill of goods? Have they themselves been sucked into an entire movement built on lies, and are they unwittingly trying to seduce me into their house of […]

Pentecost 8: What Does Greatness Look Like

What constitutes greatness? In this week’s gospel we see a study in contrasts that helps us understand. In Mark 10 Jesus teaches the disciples and the church in simple terms. Two millennia later we still have a long way to go to get it into our hearts.
Herod Antipas wanted to be known as a king, […]

Reflections on Lessons Pentecost 23 A

We had a spirited discussion today in our weekly Bible study of area pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). It was fed by a feeling of dread about recent signs of sickness in our society. One of our number put it something like this. “Why is it that we are Christians, and […]